UK think tank calls for cutting reliance on corn ethanol

A report by UK think tank Chatham House today called for reduction of the country's reliance on corn ethanol for renewable fuels and encouragement for the use of cheaper and more sustainable biofuels, such as used cooking oil.

According to the think tank the government needed to consider modification of its renewable transport fuel obligation' (RTFO), which had been in place since 2008 and with gradual increase every year now required that 5 per cent of Britain's fuel supply by volume comprise renewable fuels from this April.

According to independent analysis group Chatham House's report, the RTFO needed to instead have an energy content target or set specific targets for ethanol and biodiesel.

Chatham House said, '' In its present form the RTFO may not be an appropriate instrument for achieving the (EU target) economically.'' It added that it could result in higher fuel costs for motorists.

The RTFO formed the UK's main policy instrument for meeting a wider EU goal of 10 per cent of transport fuel derived from renewable sources by 2020.

Without specifying the type of renewable fuels the RTFO stipulates that these meet certain criteria and cut greenhouse gas emissions by a minimum amount.